A planning application has been submitted to carry out restoration work on Knebworth War Memorial, with hopes it will save the historic structure.

Knebworth Parish Council has put forward plans to North Herts Council which would see "treatment and consolidation" work take place on the memorial in Park Lane.

Built and unveiled in 1920, the memorial has stood by the west avenue to Knebworth House for more than 100 years, and commemorates more than 65 men from the village who lost their lives during the First and Second World War.

A 2018 survey by the War Memorials Trust found the structure to be weathered, but in good condition. However, a new survey by Hirst Conservation has found the condition to be "very bad", with the carving within the lantern towards the top of the monument of particular concern.

Believed to be from a 14th century and formerly part of the Church of St Mary and Thomas in Knebworth Park, the carvings depict the Madonna and Child in high relief, which is now barely visible due to weather-related erosion.

On the reverse of the lantern, the Christ on Calvary carving has now been lost, also due to erosion.

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Upon visiting the site, parts at the top of the memorial were found to have fallen off, with pieces sat at the base. Further research showed similar damage has been occurring since 2018.

There is also serious concern about the memorial's structural stability, with spalling - the deterioration of steel reinforced concrete - and impact damage causing "significant structural damage".

On the column, a "series of vertical micro fractures running vertically up the shaft" were found.

At the base of the monument, Hirst Conservation found "significant Lichen growth to the surface of the base, reducing readability of the text".

As part of the planning application, maintence including the "removal of failed mortars with the rebedding of displaced coping and repointing" has been proposed.

Efforts to restore writing at the base and weathering protection were also recommended.

"Consolidation of the stone lantern" was also described as "necessary to stabilize the stone which at present is a health and safety issue as loose, friable sections are liable to fall".